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The Institute for the Future of Oncology

The Association of Cancer Care Centers' Institute for the Future of Oncology brings together key leaders in the oncology community to tackle the significant issues they are facing today and in the future.

The Institute was launched in 2013 because ACCC recognized a gap in knowledge and a need for meaningful discussion on issues unique to the multidisciplinary community oncology team. The Institute serves as a clearinghouse of information and knowledge, addressing these issues and offering solutions that can be utilized across the community oncology continuum.

The Institute for the Future of Oncology identifies pressing issues and key trends on the horizon, and incorporates these into its areas of focus.

2023 Institute Forum

Olalekan Ajayi, PharmD, MBA, chief operating officer for Highlands Oncology Group, PA, was named president of the Association of Cancer Care Centers (ACCC) on Friday, March 10, at the ACCC 49th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit (#AMCCBS), where oncology professionals gathered to discuss the convergence of business, policy, and technology in cancer care.

"One of the greatest challenges we face over the next decade is related to our oncology workforce. Specifically, will we have enough providers and staff to support and deliver lifesaving treatments to patients?" Dr. Ajayi shared. "It is a question that keeps me up at night and one reason my 2023-2024 ACCC President's Theme will focus on (Re)Building the Oncology Workforce to Deliver Next Generation Cancer Care."

Learn more about the President's Theme

2022 Institute Forum

The eighth annual Institute was held on Wednesday, Oct. 12, as a pre-conference to the ACCC 39th National Oncology Conference, in West Palm Beach, Fla. The Institute focused on the 2022-2023 ACCC President’s Theme, Leveraging Technology to Transform Cancer Care Delivery and the Patient Experience. ACCC convened a group of ACCC leaders, subject matter experts, and key stakeholders to come together for discussions about the future of cancer program technology. Institute participants looked at technology through the lens of four stakeholder groups: patients, clinicians, business and operational leaders, and industry. Read the summary of the group discussion on how these stakeholder technology “needs” and “wants” align and possibly even diverge, how to plan and pay for new technology, how to leverage technology to help mitigate workforce shortages, and more.

Read More Read the Blog 

2019 Institute Forum

The seventh annual Institute held in Washington, D.C., on June 27, 2019, convened more than 30 thought leaders to share insights on how best to communicate the value of comprehensive cancer care to both internal stakeholders, such as hospital CEOs, to support growth of and/or investment in the cancer service line, and external stakeholders—public and private payers—to help make the case for adequate reimbursement. The day-long forum discussion focused on ACCC President Ali McBride's 2019-2020 presidential theme: Collaborate. Educate. Compensate: A Prescription for Sustainable Cancer Care Delivery. Institute participants also piloted the ACCC Comprehensive Cancer Care Survey that is now open to all ACCC member programs and practices to take as part of a larger education initiative to examine capacity for and barriers to the delivery of comprehensive adult cancer care services. ACCC will be using findings and outcomes from this survey to inform policy and advocacy regarding value-based payment reform.

Continuing work begun at the Institute, ACCC hosted a session at its 36th National Oncology Conference on "Why Your C-Suite Should Care—and Fund—Supportive Care Services." During this dynamic, "how-to" session, supportive care champions role played standing in front of cancer program leadership to make the business case for adding staff—registered dietitians,  genetic counselors, psychotherapists, and pre-rehabilitation specialists—to improve patient care and help differentiate the cancer program from its competitors. Meeting attendees received a series of case studies that supplied the necessary data and literature to support these business arguments, which they can put to use at their own institutions.

ACCC launched a national Comprehensive Cancer Care Services Survey in 2019, whose outcomes led to development of a tiered matrix of services that cancer practices and programs of varying sizes and resource levels can adopt. In 2020 ACCC will host a session at the 46th Annual Meeting and Cancer Center Business Summit entitled "Collaborate, Educate, Compensate. Creating a Sustainable Model for Cancer Care Delivery." At this session, a multidisciplinary panel of experts involved in the development of the draft matrix will address how the provision of these services can elevate patient care and the patient experience; reduce healthcare costs; improve care coordination; identify implementation challenges and opportunities; and outline various avenues for how key services can be covered.
Making the Case for New Staff

2018 Institute Forum

The sixth annual Institute held in Washington, D.C., on June 27, 2018, convened more than 30 experts in cancer care, wellness, and resiliency to share insights on what is fueling burnout among members of the cancer care team and what needs to happen on both on both a micro and macro level to support and improve team well-being. The day-long forum discussion focused on ACCC President Tom Gallo’s 2018-2019 presidential theme: Reflect, Renew, Reignite: Creating a Resilient Oncology Team in Your Community.
Read the Executive SummaryMore on Creating a Resilient Oncology Team

2017 Institute Forum

For the fifth annual Institute for the Future of Oncology forum in June 2017, ACCC invited participants to come together to envision next generation multidisciplinary cancer care. Participants reflected the many disciplines involved in quality cancer care delivery: physicians, administrators, nurses, quality officers, pharmacists, palliative care providers, registry/data analyst professionals, social workers, and representatives from patient advocacy organizations.

For the forum discussion, participants were divided into three breakout multidisciplinary discussion groups. Each group considered what next generation multidisciplinary cancer care might look like in terms of three current critical challenges:

  • The need to improve care coordination.
  • The tension between personalized medicine and value-based care.
  • The anticipated oncology workforce shortages that are projected to occur as patient volumes increase.

Read five top-level takeaways that reflect the practical forces shaping next generation cancer care.

2016 Institute Forum

The 2016 Institute forum was held in June 2016. The invited participants, comprising oncologists and cancer program executives from hospitals, oncology practices, and healthcare systems across the country; representatives from patient advocacy groups; researchers; and supportive care providers convened for a discussion focused on identifying the concept of patient-centered care in oncology; exploring current models; highlighting existing barriers; and recommending options to move from theory to practice.

Through the forum discussion, participants identified seven key elements required to provide true patient-centered care: patient stories, navigation and coordination, interdisciplinary teams, appropriate reimbursement for services rendered, greater education, information technology connectivity and transparency, and decision support tools. Getting there, participants concluded, will require overcoming numerous obstacles and restructuring the way in which cancer care is delivered and reimbursed.

Download the Institute for the Future of Oncology's 2016 white paper:

2015 Institute Forum

The 2015 Institute forum was held in June 2015. The invited participants, comprising oncologists and cancer program executives from hospitals, practices, and healthcare systems across the country, convened for a discussion that—within the context of ongoing consolidation and integration pressures—aimed to identify challenges and elicit solutions needed to realize a positive impact on patient care within the next decade. During the discussion, participants identified five essential actions for achieving a positive impact on patient care within the next decade. These are the focus of the Institute’s 2015 white paper.

Download the Institute for the Future of Oncology's 2015 white paper:

What Will It Take? Five Essential Actions to Achieve a Positive Impact on Patient Care in the Integrated Healthcare Environment

2014 Institute Forum

The 2014 Institute forum was held on June 26, 2014. The forum discussion focused on two areas of critical importance for the future of oncology care:

Organizational Leadership—exploring key issues in oncology leadership such as:

  • planning for the future success of an organization and oncology leadership's role in decision making regarding services offered to patients;
  • analyzing future needs and assimilating new and evolving technologies and treatments; and
  • addressing leadership succession planning and mentoring tomorrow's leaders.

Communicating Quality—examining the quality expectations of different stakeholder groups (patients, payers, and providers) and exploring how quality is being communicated to these groups.

Drawing on the forum discussion, the Institute authored two white papers that offer perspectives on these issues.

Download the Institute for the Future of Oncology's 2014 white papers:

2013 Institute Forum

In 2013, the inaugural Institute forum examined two issues:

  • the trend of hospital consolidation and increased physician integration and impacts on communities and providers; and
  • the potential of electronic health information exchange to improve patient care.

Following the 2013 forum, the Institute authored two white papers that provide perspective on how these issues are affecting community cancer care.

Download the Institute for the Future of Oncology's 2013 white papers: